Was It Really A Bad Year?
I took sleeping meds because being awake was such a chore.
If you ask me how this year went, I’d shrug and say “meh”. I’m grateful for life and good health but was it a fantastic year?
I am not ending the year with the job I started with. Actually, I’m not ending this year with a job at all. I am not disappointed about it as I quit those jobs willingly, but I wish I had more clarity on what I want.
On the other hand, I didn't lose any family members or suffer any great loss this year, so shouldn’t that be a win?
In today’s letter, I’ll be honest about my 2022 journey and hopefully, you might learn a thing or two. Some things in this letter will make sense, some will not.
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Like I wrote earlier, I started this year with a job and I quit because even though I didn’t know what I wanted, I knew what I didn’t want. I woke up every day with a bad case of anxiety and when I eventually quit, I was relieved. Although I may have made more money if I didn’t quit, I am thankful that I did.
I know I want to write books, scripts, feature films but I’m too afraid to start. I’m also afraid that if I write a book and people don’t buy it, what next? Where do I go next?
There were many times when I thought about quitting this content game, it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere and I wasn’t moving and I hated it. On those days, I hid from the world.
In the new year, I want to do things afraid and put myself out there. I hope that you do too and at the end of 2023, we’re proud that we leaped.
(The day inspiration eluded me and I left my house on the mainland to write at Burger King in VI)
For the longest time, I have had a weird relationship with friendships. I always felt like I was undeserving of friends and so, I kept to myself.
Throughout my life, I lived in several countries alone and became so used to a life of solitude that I developed the habit of forgetting to check up on people. A number of people walked out of my life for this reason and some of the people that chose to stay constantly reminded me of it, so I slowly slithered away.
I hate stress.
Friendships seemed stressful so instead of putting the work in, I would look to my relationships and the men in my life to fill that vacuum. In 2022, I found my way around friendships and met such stand up people. Testimony 👇🏾
This is such a hard subject for me. I have always had a funny relationship with money. Because I have a deep fear of poverty, I save aggressively.
I’d have money for a cab but will choose to walk so I can save. This year, I slowly learnt to enjoy my money because next of kin no dey pity your money.
I am not rich, by any standards but I have an okay life because I’ve chosen to use my money to bring ease into my life. Hence, the move out of Ikorodu to my new place.
I won, this year. I moved out of Ikorodu. I paid plenty money for rent. I got paid the most, this year. I joined a writer’s room for an international TV station. I loved. I found myself. I became closer to my mum. My brother got married. He dyed his hair to annoy his parents and in-laws. His wife is such a babe. I built this community to 12,000 subscribers. It was a standup year. Alhamdulilah.
On Mental Health
Omo. Mental het wey I dey build in the beginning of the year went to shambles in August. I just kept taking sleeping meds because being awake was such a chore. I didn’t know what was going on. I wanted to see a therapist but those people are expensive so, I started doing press-up every morning.
I was swept up in a whirlwind of romance this year. I was happy. At the beginning of the year, I manifested love into my life and it happened. It was fast, out of nowhere and I settled into the love. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. It almost felt like I had been searching for a home and out of nowhere a door materialised and an arm pulled me into cotton softness.
LMAO. It didn’t last.
Although I found love this year, I also experienced the worst pain and heartbreak that I’ve ever felt. You know how people say this man is either going to be my husband or my worst heartbreak? This was it.
I think I spent the whole of September in bed and I had to rely on those friendships I cultivated this year. My support system ranged from a 22-year-old to a man of 40 years. They pulled their weight and I am so lucky to have them.
I remember a day I came back from my tailors and I couldn't make it up my stairs, I crumbled and cried. In the middle of my tears, I got hungry, ordered food and jammed mohits as I was crying. 😂
I was talking to my friend, Gera, about how I thought I found the sweetest love of my life but also the biggest hurt? As I tried to make sense of it, she saw my face contorted and she said “Hauwa, one does not invalidate the other”.
I found that so profound.
My office in September. Lmaoooo
Whooshhhh. My biggest win this year. I finally found that I was enough. I now look in the mirror and see a gorgeous woman! I am almost crying as I write this because hated my face for years. I wrote about it in this newsletter.
Unfortunately, I didn’t experience a lot of them this year. Yes, unfortunately. I think I missed out on some opportunities because I didn’t put myself out there.
With more rejections come more wins and lessons. Rejection means you tried and that’s better than someone that didn’t even try at all.
I was let down by a lot of people and I, too, let people down. I am sorry.
Learn to apologise. You’ll find you’re happier.
In 2022, I found that forgiveness is an action verb. It is hard to always choose forgiveness. I find myself mad at things I said I had forgiven people for.
I think you constantly have to remind yourself that on some days, forgiveness will not come easily to you and that is completely fine.
Try to cut it out.
This year, I noticed that ‘a friend’ would always criticise my choices. When I said I wanted to rent an apartment, she told tell me men don’t take women that live alone seriously. If I mentioned a new opportunity, she would say they don’t like muslim women in that organisation. When I told her of my failed relationship, she said I spent a lot of time with my ex and it reeked of desperation and that’s why it ended.
This year, I decided to put some distance between us.
In 2023, don’t let people speak negativity into your life, please.
Cut. Them. Out.
Spiritually, this was not a great year. I hope to find my way back to my faith. There were so many days that I didn’t pray at all and God was the last thing on my mind. I am very disappointed in myself and I hope to stumble around in the dark until I find my way back to God.
Next year, I want to take a lot more pictures. I looked through my gallery and this is what makes 90% of my pictures.
I don’t even have full face pictures anymore. I’ve been conditioned into hiding myself. That needs to change. I want to go out more so, invite me places. I want to travel. I want to look better. I want to make more money.
I don’t think I want to fall in love this year (I love love and I’m a hopeless romantic but Lagos boys have shown me shege.) I want to give my heart a break. I have hurt myself consistently and, there comes a time when you must know when to leave the stage for a bit.
I want to document more. Sekhani’s medium post said she wanted to LIVE and I can relate. I want to live, laugh unabashedly, not care how my face looks when it’s scrunched up, break into a dance because I heard an old song.
I want to add ‘kiss a stranger’ to this list but outside people have herpes so, no.
I’d rate my happiness a 6/10. I’m at a better place this year. And I think that’s a win.
So was it really a bad year? No. I think it was an okay year. Alhamdulilah.
Thank you for reading this far. I love you and I’m grateful for this community.
How was your 2022? What are you looking forward to?
My "mental health and love 2022" were no different from yours Hauwa.
Mental het dey cost😢
Just when I thought I wanted to give my heart a break too, I'm starting to doubt my abilities to do so. But if there's one thing I'm positive about for 2023, it's taking baby steps towards such decisions. I really am going to take my time.
Thanks for sharing yours with us. I really love you and I'm exceptionally grateful for the content you share. It puts me in the mood to share more of myself here too. You're such an inspiration 🦋🖤
Can't believe I read a serious Hauwa letter, but it's lovely. I want to scale up in my writing career in 2023, I want to get remote jobs, I want to build a saving habit. I want to be able to spend on myself a little more and provide things that bring me comfort. I'm getting all these, I pray ✨